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Military Blocks Employee Access To High-Volume Websites

March 18, 2011 by  

Military blocks employee access to high-volume websitesThe United States military has blocked its personnel from accessing popular websites such as YouTube and ESPN in an effort to bolster the recovery efforts in Japan.

The Department of Defense announced on March 14 that 13 websites have been temporarily blocked because they take up a significant amount of bandwidth. According to CNN, Strategic Command spokesman Rodney Ellison said the suspended sites, which also include Amazon, eBay and MTV, were selected due to their popularity among users of military computers.

"We are doing this to facilitate the recovery efforts under way in Japan," said Ellison, quoted by the media outlet. "We are trying to make sure we are giving them as many avenues and as much support as we can."

Pentagon employees who attempt to access these sites are greeted with a bright, red message that reads "Website Blocked."

Col. Daniel King, deputy public affairs director of U.S. Pacific Command, told the National Journal that military personnel have not been blocked from using social networking websites because they are important lines of communication between families. Officials said that restricting access to high-volume sites is a routine precaution in the event of natural disasters or international emergencies.

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  • s c

    At some point, it will be impossible to separate the military from Homeland Insecurity. Or, are we already there? Oh, for the good old days, when all we had to contend with was pimped-out, prostituted newspapers, radio, TV and Big Muthabrutha [pre-internet].

  • Jim

    How in the world does this help to bolster the recovery efforts in Japan?

    • bob wire

      Hm? I ‘m left to guess high volumes of traffic, requiring large packets of information is restrictive to their system

      For instance, my pc runs slower on weekends when the weather is bad and more people are on the system.

      I know one thing, these folks are in a bad way, left locating and burying the dead, find survivors and family, snowing, sleeping in cars, no water, no clean cloths , no food to buy. Sanitation an issue, if it was warmer it would be worse.

    • WayneT

      Jim, they want to block a lot of negative things that is being said about Obama on youtube. This is the only thing I can think of is the reason they would want it blocked.

      • Kinetic1

        WayneT,
        “This is the only thing I can think of..” That about says it all. The article clearly states the purpose of the block, but all you can think of is silencing attacks on the President. It points to the fact that “social networking websites” are still available, even if their families wanted to share what they heard about President Obama on YouTube, but all you can think of is censorship ordered by the President himself.

        • bikerbwb

          Obama is commander in chief

          • Dennis

            You spelled Cheat wrong.

          • s c

            On this planet, Herr Obummer is America’s Incompetent-in-Chief. On another planet, far, far away, he might be their C-I-C. They need him. We can’t afford him – literally or figuratively.
            If you helped elect the so-and-so, thanks for NOTHING.

          • http://naver samurai

            More like Commander in Thief! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • Barry

    The military routinely shuts down internet access whenever there is an emergency. Regardless of what they say the reason is to control what is being said by the troops on the ground. The military does not want any perspective of what is happening except for theirs to get out. This is just the new version of censorship that the military has over our troops. Sometimes it is needed most of the time it is abused.

    • WayneT

      Barry, I’ll bet that Obama was the one who had it blocked.

    • Vigilant

      “Regardless of what they say the reason is to control what is being said by the troops on the ground.”

      B.S. Only military computers are affected. Those same military personnel go home at night and use their (unblocked) home PCs to their hearts’ content.

      The miltary has been blocking sites for over a decade, as have corporations. It’s about getting a day’s work for a day’s pay, instead of wasting corporate or taxpayers’ dollars surfing sites during work hours.

  • http://www.piedmontwebmasterservices.com Dan

    They don’t want the military talking to their families because of the talking heads who have ramped up the fear factor that radiation clouds are headed to the US and we are all in danger of becoming Zombies or something.

    • libertytrain

      Reread the the last paragraph of the article.

    • Kinetic1

      Dan, Barry, Wayne,
      Do you folks even bother to read beyond the headlines?
      “The United States military has blocked its personnel from accessing popular websites such as YouTube and ESPN” … “Amazon, eBay and MTV”. Got that? The sites that are blocked are primarily high bandwidth entertainment sites. Cut back on use of these sites and you speed up the local internet.

      “military personnel have not been blocked from using social networking websites because they are important lines of communication between families.” Facebook, twitter, etc. are still available so as to allow communications between soldiers and their families. I’m sure there are restrictions on what they can and can’t say, but they are NOT being stopped from communicating with their families.

      • http://www.piedmontwebmasterservices.com Dan

        Contrary to what you think, I have two friends in Afghanistan and they sent me an email saying that they are getting a warning that Facebook and Twitter websites are blocked. When I made my comment that was the case. At 1400 EST one of them sent me an email and said the now have access to Facebook and Twitter back. So the military did block ALL social networking sites at first but since then have loosened the restrictions.

        • libertytrain

          I got a Facebook posting early this morn from my soldier daughter – perhaps it was just not quite all in place when your people did same.

  • Robin from Arcadia, IN

    Sounds lame to me! They probably don’t want military personnel in Japan reporting the truth, which the MSM knows little about.

    • libertytrain

      I’m not sure if you noticed in the article that the military DID NOT block things like Facebook. They are allowed to talk on the social networks just not spend time shopping on eBay or Amazon type places:

      “Col. Daniel King, deputy public affairs director of U.S. Pacific Command, told the National Journal that military personnel have not been blocked from using social networking websites because they are important lines of communication between families.”

  • http://personnelliberty David

    there is no excuse

  • Tom

    Did anybody realize that the military did this for two reasons:

    1. To free up bandwidth to help with the recovery effort. The Speed of information is critical during an emergency like this….

    2. To make sure the “troops” are focused on the tasks at hand and aren’t wasting time.

    • libertytrain

      I don’t think people really read the article. It also said this didn’t include social networks. And they can use all these services with their own email accounts, just not their military email addresses and will need to use their own computers not the ones at the “office” – so unless they are deployed somewhere (where they can still use Facebook, etc.), the military still can utilize the other services on their own time, email and dime.

      • Kinetic1

        Liberty,
        I don’t think these folks read much of anything if it doesn’t support what they already believe.

  • Always Right

    As a DoD employee, I’m a little surprised that we ever had access to these because of security issues and time wastage by employees. As much as I’d like to sit on my backside & watch videos all day while earing either $140K a year or 40% more than Joe Schmoe (pick which lie you wish to believe, then send me a check for the difference between that phoney number and reality) I really wonder why we ever had them in the first place. I don’t buy the “important line of communications stuff. Youtube, for example, is a wholly unnecessary luxury.

    • Just the truth

      Always right is dead on! This article is about the military network, what people use at work, it’s no different than a large business limiting access through a firewall to maintain productivity, only in this case high bandwidth sites were unavailable to ensure there was enough for official communications so the mission could be accomplished.
      I don’t understand why this even made news, I know, for my job, ESPN isn’t necessary, even in if it is March Madness.

  • Teresa

    I agree with Always Right. These are Pentagon employees paid with my tax dollars. They should not be facebooking or shopping on military computers paid for by me for securing the country.

  • home boy

    if you should know anything about the military its all about control.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      home boy,
      And you think it should be different???

      • http://naver samurai

        Home boy probably never served. FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

        • http://?? Joe H.

          samurai,
          I’d just like to see HIS army where the troops aren’t “controlled”!!! Can you immagine The Battle of the Bulge or D-day if the troops weren’t controlled??? I can hear it now. “No I don’t wanna land there, the water’s too coldand the sun’s not shining. Besides my boots will get wet!!”

          • http://naver samurai

            Ha, ha, ha, ha! I knew a few soldiers that were that way in Iraq. Keep up the good fight, fellow patriot. 하나님 하고 나라를 위해서! FOR GOD AND COUNTRY!

  • dave

    How can anything be called “Routine” when it’s the first time ….ever? They don’t want anyone to see (through the eyes of the thousands of Japanese who still have video capability) true magnetude and destruction that is still being suffered over there, or the real damages being caused by disintegrating nucleur power plants unless it’s been properly censored and filtered thru their wholely owned news media outlets. Do you really think that the speed of the internet is an issue A WEEK LATER?

    • Just the truth

      Dave, the original story came out Tuesday on CNN.com, this site is a little behind as they just posted this Friday. I bet everything has been figured out and all appropriate sites are available again.
      I still don’t see why this is even a story, these sites have nothing to do with what most government employees do on a day to day basis. They still have access to news sites and television. So what if they couldn’t see the latest YouTube video on Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga…Let them get back to work, they can check that stuff on their personal time at home, not while we’re paying their salary!

      • Just the truth

        Oh, and they call it routine because they have blocked communication traffic, air frequencies, the Emergency Broadcast System, in times of emergencies in the past.

  • jopa

    ESPN was probably blocked due to March Madness with the high volume this month and You Tube because they want to reduce the risk of someone posting videos that may not be too popular concerning the rescue effort in Japan.Doing a little CYA.

  • mark

    Who really runs this country? The President and Congress or the Military? I voted for Obama but I can not blieve that he is such a Lap Dog for the Military

    • Dan

      obama is a lapdog for the federal reserve.

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